This book offers a wide range of theoretical tools for conceptualizing the criminal justice system in general and this historical moment in particular, in which mass incarceration, the War on Drugs, police practices, the treatment of juveniles and the mentally ill, glaring racial disparity, and the death penalty (among other aspects) are all facing challenge. Each of the 14 original essays in this volume dismantles and reframes core debates over U.S. criminal justice: What sort of institution is our penal system? What work is done by rules, practice, discretion, and social hierarchy? How specifically do race and gender shape outcomes? What role do the Constitution and the Supreme Court play in constructing and preserving current practice? How does legal change occur? The essays are highly situated and interdisciplinary, bringing together legal theory, sociology, criminology, legal doctrine, and critical theory. The authors—all of them leaders and innovators in their fields—represent a wide array of perspectives, schools, disciplines, and backgrounds. Together, they offer readers the opportunity to develop a more profound understanding of our enormous, complex, and deeply flawed criminal system at this historic moment of opportunity.